When Sevetri Wilson set out to launch her company tech company Resilia, she said she was the antithesis of what typical founders in that space were.

“Female, African-American, solo founder — everything that does not equate Mark Zuckerberg,” the the 35-year-old entrepreneur humorously shared in a previous interview. Yet, she also feels that the future of tech founders is starting look more and more like her. But you have to know how to play the game.

“I always share this because it’s important,” said to Essence Festival of Culture-goers on July 1 during a tech summit fireside chat. “You have to speak the same language as investors to be taken seriously.”

She shared that it’s not just about presenting figures and sales projections. Presentation matters.

“I advise new startup founders seeking seed funding to ensure their pitch deck is tight,” she shared with Essence. “Understand what the pitch decks need to look like. We understand what our projections need to look like. There was a time we literally didn’t see anybody that looked like us {in the tech space getting invested in}. We just didn’t know what we didn’t know. Now we do.”

She said that one of the key strategies she used early in her fundraising stage was seeking the counsel of her community.

“I made sure to pitch my early decks to other founders who offered feedback,” she said, adding this is an important step to take ahead of meeting with investors. “In fact, you should have a list of investors that you want your ideal investors and pitch from the least ideal to the most ideal.”

To date, Wilson company Resilia has raised more than $8M.

The Louisiana State University and Harvard University graduate used her southern roots to her advantage and leaned on investors from that part of the US in her portfolio, one of the few successful tech founders to do so.

Her company provides a tech designed to streamline compliance, training, and fundraising processes for non-profits.

She says it’s high time that investors focus on tech for good to help make the world a better place.

“My aim was to provide what these organizations needed to not only drive their purpose but do that in a more diligent and streamlined way. In order for these non-profits to really affect change, they have to be technology savvy.”

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